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Check Out the Boston Area's James Beard Award Contenders

By Scott Kearnan  |  February 18, 2015
Credit: Evan Bradford

Prepare your best nacho platter, stock up on wine and get your live-tweet fingers at the ready: the Academy Awards are coming up this weekend. But today, let's stop and give a standing O to the just-announced semifinalists for the food world's version of the Oscars: the James Beard Foundation Awards. Today the Foundation released its esteemed list, which will be narrowed down to a selection of finalists that will be announced on March 24, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on May 4. 

Wondering which Massachusetts restaurants made the first cut? Check out the locals by category below, and head here to find the full list of semifinalists.

Best New Restaurant: 

Alden & Harlow (Cambridge) 

Outstanding Baker:

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe (Boston) 

Abe Faber and Christy Timon, Clear Flour Bakery (Brookline)

Cheryl Maffei and Jonathan Stevens, Hungry Ghost (Northampton)

Outstanding Bar Program:

The Hawthorne (Boston)

Outstanding Chef: 

Ana Sortun, Oleana (Cambridge)

Outstanding Pastry Chef: 

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana (Cambridge)

Outstanding Restaurateur

Garrett Harker, Eastern Standard, The Hawthorne, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 (Boston)

Michael Leviton, Lumière (Newton), Area Four (Cambridge), A4 Pizza (Somerville)

Outstanding Service:

L'Espalier (Boston)

Strip-T's (Watertown)

Outstanding Wine Program:

Troquet (Boston)

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional:

Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company

RIsing Star of the Year:

Max Hull and Irene Li, Mei Mei (Boston)

Best Chef Northeast:

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang (Boston)

Alex Crabb, Asta (Boston)

Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother (Cambridge)

Tim Maslow (pictured), Ribelle (Brookline) 

​Michael Pagliarini, Giulia (Cambridge) 

​Cassie Piuma, Sarma (Somerville)